Real You: The treasures that matter in the vaults of life

The truth is, I'm not having a great time with this move. We were relocated due to my husband's job - suddenly - over Thanksgiving and picked a place to live quickly, and for a short-term lease. Now, it's up and we're off. Two things. It's hard to move - for a short-term - a family of six with two dogs and piles of stuff. It's even harder to move - again - five months later. Second, I've found I'm practicing for empty nesting. I am letting go. I am a natural pack rat, and when the vaults - yes they call them vaults - of stuff we had in storage from two moves ago pulled up on a semi-truck in front of the new house, I wanted to tell them the driver he had the wrong address. Clearly, I didn't need the vault contents - I'd been living quite fine without all of it for more than three years.

They insisted on unloading. Ergo, for the past two weeks I've been wading through boxes of memories. Kid art scribbled on the back of paper placemats; photos galore; Mother's Day presents from various kids' preschool and elementary school days; clay creations of every sort and every talent level; my high school and college scrapbooks; books - and more books; and, well, you get the drift.

I've been snapping photos of some of the stuff before tossing it. Other, the most special of treasures, have been placed back into tubs so I can experience this all over again at some later date. It's almost like being an empty nester - but I'm not. My kids are still home, so perhaps it's a practice session?

A lot of the treasures made me misty, and many made me smile. It's the vaults of life, really, that I was rummaging through. I'm glad I did it. I don't think I tossed too many valuable memories. Judging from the new storage space stuffed to capactiy, I'll be doing this again in another 20 years.

If I'm lucky.